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Apologetics, Kreeft chapter 12: Heaven & Hell
 

Apologetics, Kreeft chapter 12: Heaven & Hell

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teaching notes used at LTCi Siliguri

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    Apologetics, Kreeft chapter 12: Heaven & Hell Apologetics, Kreeft chapter 12: Heaven & Hell Presentation Transcript

    • HEAVEN AND HELL Kreeft & Tacelli, Chapter 12
    • Belief in heaven and hell arecontroversial and often arguedagainst in modern society - in facthell is often one of the first beliefsto be abandoned as defending init can be a burden to the believer.This section tries to deal withunbelievers objections to heavenand hell.17 objections to the idea ofheaven will be given - though thisis not giving a theology of heavenor providing a picture of it.
    • HEAVEN #1:REINCARNATIONIS MORE REASONABLEReincarnation isrejected byChristians:1. The Biblecontradicts it - Heb9:272. All orthodoxchurch traditioncontradicts it
    • 3. It implies God made amistake in giving us bodiesfor our souls - in fact we arepure spirits in prison4. Psychology and commonsense suggest it is wrong - itdenies a psychosomatic unity5. It makes us think in a lowway about our bodies - ineffect they are a punishment
    • 6. The idea is that we arereincarnated in order to learn lessonswe failed to learn in a previous life -this contradicts common sense, howcan I learn something if there is nocontinuity of memory? Mistakes arelearned from only if remembered.7. Evidence for past lives beingreincarnations could be explained asmental telepathy from other beings, orfrom demons or other souls in hell.
    • #2: THERE IS NO SCIENTIFICEVIDENCE FOR HEAVENThere are many other ideas whicheven science has no valid evidence for- when a scientist kisses his wife hebelieves there is more than hormones,neurons and molecules.There is no scientific evidence for onlythings that science has proved(evidenced) existing. Do we say ifthere is no scientific evidence it doesnot exist? This is an assumptionbased on no scientific evidence.
    • #3: HEAVEN IS OBVIOUSLYWISHFUL THINKINGIf heaven did not exist wewould have to invent it as a“necessary dream”.- the Bible in the heaven is notabout our dreams or wishfulthinking, in fact it is aboutselfless, self-forgetful love andsaintliness, not the gratificationof sinful desires.
    • #3: HEAVEN IS OBVIOUSLYWISHFUL THINKINGIf heaven did not exist wewould have to invent it as a“necessary dream”.- the Bible in the heaven is notabout our dreams or wishfulthinking, in fact it is aboutselfless, self-forgetful love andsaintliness, not the gratificationof sinful desires.
    • - and if there is acorrelation betweenour innate wish anddesire for heaven, whycan’t that be a responseto something plannedby God and placedwithin us? It does nothave to be a man-madething, but could well beGod designing it.
    • #4: THE IDEA OF HEAVEN ISTHAT OF MYTH OR LEGENDAll ideas of heaven are a versionof “the happy hunting grounds” orthe Elysian fields.- we must distinguish betweenimage and reality (substance). Wecannot mistake one for the otherjust as we do not look for a literal“man in the moon”- the fact that all religions havesome idea of heaven is evidence infavour of it (weight of numbers)
    • #4: THE IDEA OF HEAVEN ISTHAT OF MYTH OR LEGENDAll ideas of heaven are a versionof “the happy hunting grounds” orthe Elysian fields.- we must distinguish betweenimage and reality (substance). Wecannot mistake one for the otherjust as we do not look for a literal“man in the moon”- the fact that all religions havesome idea of heaven is evidence infavour of it (weight of numbers)
    • #4: THE IDEA OF HEAVEN ISTHAT OF MYTH OR LEGENDAll ideas of heaven are(Greek mythology) the abode Elysian Fields - a versionof “the happy hunting grounds” or death of the blessed afterthe Elysian fields. Ancient Greek paradise reserved for heroes to- we must distinguish between whom the gods had granted immortality. Homerimage and reality (substance). Wecannot mistake one for the other happiness at the described it as a land of perfectjust as weof the earth, on the banks of the Oceanus end do not look for a literal“man in the moon” time of Pindar (c. 500 BC) on, River. From the- the fact that all religions have Elysium was imagined as a dwelling place forsome idea of heaven is evidence infavour of it (weight of numbers)righteous life. those who had lived a
    • #5:BELIEVING IN HEAVEN ISESCAPIST- CS Lewis asks the question,“who speaks most againstescapism?” - answer: jailers- is it escapism for the unbornto think of life after birth, for aperson cast adrift to dream ofland? Heaven is simply afulfillment of good desires.
    • #5:BELIEVING IN HEAVEN ISESCAPIST- heaven is not escapist becauseit is Lewis asks it is not real- CSreal - to say the question,isa lie based on atheism.“who speaks most againstThinking about heaven isescapism?” - answer: jailersrealistic. In fact the first- is it escapism for the unbornquestion about any birth, for ato think of life after idea shouldnot be cast adrift to dream ofpersonasking if it is escapist,but if Heaven is simply aland? it is true. People who sayit is escapist good desires.fulfillment ofneed to prove theidea false.
    • #5:BELIEVING IN HEAVEN ISESCAPIST- heaven is not escapist becauseit is real - to say it is not real isa lie based on atheism.Thinking about heaven isrealistic. In fact the firstquestion about any idea shouldnot be asking if it is escapist,but if it is true. People who sayit is escapist need to prove theidea false.
    • #6: HEAVEN IS A DIVERSION - TRUEOR FALSE IT IS A DISTRACTIONFROM PRESENT TASKS- if heaven is real and our finaldestination then our tasks heredistract us from it.- concern for heaven does notdevalue concern for earthly things:concern for the future of an unbornbaby does not devalue or detractfrom its present need.- historically people who have caredmost about heaven have made thebiggest impact on earth
    • #7: HEAVEN IS A BRIBE - ITMAKES RELIGION SELFISHHeaven makes us work for ourreward not out of pure love.Some rewards are notmercenary but natural - for ateam who have worked hard tobe rewarded with success.Heaven is not an externalreward added on to life but isin fact the perfection of thelove of God and love for ourneighbour.
    • #8: HEAVEN IS EGOTISTICALWhat right do you have tothink you will be spirituallymarried to God?In fact God said this (in theBible) we did not say it, ordevise it.
    • #9: HEAVEN WILL BEBORING - ENDLESS WORSHIP- Boredom is a fallen emotion - oldlanguages have no word for it - inheaven we will be good and wise,and never bored- heaven is about joy not beingcontented (which gets boring)- heaven is perfect love and work,the two things needed to make lifeworth living - the love-work is ofknowing and loving God, others andyourself.
    • #10: HOW CAN WE BE HAPPY IFPEOPLE WE LOVE ARE IN HELL?- there will be no sadness in heaven,Rev.21:4 God manages not to be sadeven though people he created toknow and love him are not withhim, he will teach us how to do this.- heaven and hell are not parallelworlds which can be travelled from.Hell is a place of eternal death notlife (which heaven is) and so whatexists there are what CS Lewisdescribes as “remains”
    • #11: HEAVEN IS ETERNAL - IT ISINHUMAN WITH NO POTENTIALFOR CHANGE OR WORKHeaven is about passive, changelessadoration of God.- the whole premise stated above isfaulty: there is work in heaven, thatwork is to love (as work was a lovebefore the fall), only after the falldid work become an onerous thing.Heaven will restore and surpass allthat was good in Eden
    • #12: ARE WE FREE TO SIN INHEAVEN - IF NOT WE ARE ROBOTSFree to sin is like saying “a healthydisease” - it is a freedom of slavery.Free will is the means to a higherliberty, this is the freedom from eviland its effects.No one will sin because no one willwant to - we will see the beauty andjoy of God and realise the uglinessand joylessness of sin - so all motiveto sin will be removed.
    • #13: IF WE ARE ALL PERFECT INHEAVEN WHERE IS THEINDIVIDUALITY?Won’t we all be boring copies?- we will be like God - copies of him cannot ever bedull- allowing God to rule your life is like adding salt tofood it brings out all of the flavours of the differingfoods - you will become more like you than ever wasexperienced before.
    • #14: THERE WILL BE NOPRIVACY IN HEAVENGod’s light and truth willpermeate everything - sonothing private.- privacy is needed only becauseof sin: we hide from othersbecause of shame or fear ofmisunderstanding. In heaventhere will be no shame etc. Infact in heaven we will have theintimacy which we fear here
    • #15: IS THERE SEX INHEAVEN?- modern people would not want to gowithout there being sex - but this saysmore about the person than aboutheaven- there is sexuality in heaven but we willbe like the angels with no giving inmarriage Matt 22:30- assuming our bodies remain in thesame state as they are then surely sexwould be possible - would we want to doit when there is greater pleasure in God?
    • #16: LOVING HEAVEN ISBEING DISLOYAL TO EARTHThe Bible saysheaven is ourhome, not theearth - we shouldbe loyal to heaven.
    • #17: HEAVEN SOUNDS SOALIEN TO ME It sounds weird, just not for me. - heaven will feel like home, after all it is what you have been made and designed for. God is a good tailor he has made it a right fit for you.
    • HELLHeaven is more importantthan hell - we know moreabout heaven than hell. But itis an area of doctrine that isunder great attack today -from within and without.Kreeft suggests hell is like avital organ in a body - ifremoved then all other organsare affected and eventually thebody dies.
    • 1. Believing there is no hell saysthat both the church and theBible (both of which teach it) areliars.2. Jesus was more explicit andadamant about hell than most[any] others - therefore he is alsoa liar.3. If we drop hell because we areuncomfortable with this ideathen we can drop other doctrineswhich we do not like.Christianity is then aboutideology not about divinerevelation.
    • 1. Believing there is no hell saysthat both the church and theBible (both of which teach it) areliars.2. Jesus was more explicit andadamant about hell than most[any] others - therefore he is alsoa liar.3. If we drop hell because we areuncomfortable with this ideathen we can drop other doctrineswhich we do not like.Christianity is then aboutideology not about divinerevelation.
    • “A Christian who does not believe in HELL is acontradiction of terms, because a Christian is onewho believes Christ, and Christ is one who believes inHELL. The only way to believe in Christ withoutbelieving in HELL is to reconstruct Christ accordingto your own desires. If there is no HELL, Christ isnot only a deceptive teacher but a wicked one, for heterrifies us needlessly, falsely and harmfully. In fact,the greatest, kindest, gentlest, most loving andcompassionate man who ever opened his mouth haswarned us with the greatest seriousness,strenuousness and sternness about HELL. That is theirrefutable argument for it.”
    • 4. If there is no hell then life’schoices no longer make an infinitedifference - “If a game is to betaken seriously, it must be possibleto lose” CS Lewis in The Problem ofPain5. If there is no hell then salvationis universal and automatic - thismeans ultimately there is nofreewill. Freewill and hell gotogether.6. If there is no hell to be savedfrom Jesus is not our saviour - orany of the other things he claims.
    • 7. If there is no hell then religiousindifference follows - why should wecare about it? There should be noevangelism or missions - recall allmissionaries and apologise.8. If salvation is automatic thenChrist’s death was a tragic and stupidmistake.9. If we don’t need to believe I hellthen surely we also don’t need tobelieve in the love of God - in fact thelove of god is the most often quotedreason for not believing in hell, yetthey have the same foundation.
    • Why do we believe that God islove? Not by philosophicalreasoning or logic?How do we know God is love?Not by science - for noexperiment has ever measured orweighed that God is love. Not byconscience - which tells us whatis right and wrong and whatshould be done, but does not tellus that we are forgiven. Not byhistory for this reveals humanselfishness.
    • There is only one reason thatanyone ever came to theconclusion that god is love,mercy and forgiveness - that isthe character of God revealed inthe Bible and culminating inJesus. This gives us the authorityto believe God is love - and alsoto believe in a hell. These twobeliefs stand and fall on the sameground.
    • 10. Some state that if there is a hellthen God is a god of wrath,vengeance and hate - does thisfollow?In fact Kreeft argues that the love ofGod constitutes the torture of hell.That love of God threatens andtortures the very egotism that asinner clings to.Consider a child who has a fit ofrage and in sulking feels the loveand hugs of his parents as torture.Thus the fires of hell are made ofthe love of God, or at least of thedamned persons hatred of that love.
    • God hates sin and loves sinners -10. Some state that if there is a hellthen as a surgeonof wrath, cancer just God is a god hates thevengeance and hate a does persons he removes from - sick thisfollow? People going to hell do so body.In fact Kreeft argues that the love ofGodonly because they refuse hell. constitutes the torture of to repent of their sin.That love of God threatens andtortures the very egotism that asinner clings to. in love, mercy and God is perfectConsider a child who has appeal to forgiveness - but these a fit ofrage and in sulking feels the love our freedom - any such appealand hugs of his parents as torture.Thus the fires of hell arechosen: we must be accepted and made ofthe love receive simply because we do not of God, or at least of thedamned persons hatredaccept love. do not choose to of that
    • 11. Hell is not forced onanyone - and is not enjoyed - itis chosen by a love of selfrather than a love of God.Happiness on your own selfishterms does not exist!12. If hell is chosen how doesthat reconcile with humansanity? Who prefers hellunless they are insane?The answer is that all of us doat one time or another -simply through the sin wecommit we reveal our insanity.
    • 13. Kreeft suggests the worst idea ofhell is a Calvinistic form of doublepredestination. In this God decreesand designs some souls for deatheven before they are born - Godwills their damnation.Kreeft says that Matt 18:14 andmoral sanity reject such claims.Just because there is a hell does notmake God a capricious being - weneed a full understanding of Godand his ways to ensure the rightapproach to the idea of hell.
    • THE PROPER USE AND MISUSEOF THE DOCTRINE OF HELLMany objections to hell are basedmore on people who have misusedthe idea - people rejecting hellsuggests that it is based on fear, hate,a desire to dominate and control - asthese are the fruit produced by it.We might argue the same aboutheaven - if misused it produces acareless life, a lack of concern for thisworld and manipulates people.
    • In fact any idea can be usedproperly or misused. Such actiondoes not reveal its validity ortruthfulness.We believe in hell because it is true- and because it is like a warningsign for those wise enough to payattention.Preaching hell does not make youpopular - just look at Jesus, he didnot go to the cross for the popularthings he said. But preaching hell isnecessary and loving even if wemight suffer unpopularity for it.